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I'd like to make an app that has all features enabled for two months, and some disabled afterward. Is that allowed on Google Play or iOS?

The iOS app store guidelines say that:

Apps that are "demo", "trial", or "test" versions will be rejected.

If an app has all functionality disabled after a period, it's obviously a trial version. What if it has SOME features disabled after a period? Is that considered trial and forbidden as well?

And what's the policy on Google Play? I couldn't find a mention of this in the policy document.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because these are customer support questions for these companies. Any answers we gave would either be non-authoritative/outdated or entirely speculative. – Ixrec Jun 8 '16 at 11:22
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You are at considerable risk on the iOS App Store. You are making people buy (or download for free) an app because they think it has certain features, and then after two months they discover that you have cheated them because it doesn't have those features at all. If Apple see it this way, they will not allow you to sell the app.

You don't say why you want to leave users stranded after two months. Possibly you are thinking of some sort of subscription scheme, or in-app purchases.

Here is a way to do the same thing, which is not dishonest to the user. I know that it has been accepted by Apple at least once, though of course I'm not in a position to make promises.

  1. Create an app which is complete, usable, and worth buying or downloading on its own merits; and which does not suddenly start working less well (or stop working altogether) on some date in the future.
  2. Include with that app a free (time-limited) preview of certain extra features.

The key is that 1, on its own, makes a worthwhile app. You have to make sure that your app description has "includes a free preview of..." before describing your time-limited extra features. It would also be reasonable not to include those extra features in the screenshots, since that would suggest to a customer that the features are part of the app, which they aren't.

This shouldn't mean too large a change in your business model. It is also more respectful of the customers, who pay your wages. And although Google are far more automated than Apple, the same policy will insure you against trouble with them.

  • I was indeed thinking of a subscription, and was planning on being upfront with users, too, rather than unpleasantly surprising them later. Your suggestions are a great way of doing that. – Vaddadi Kartick Jun 8 '16 at 14:40
  • The other thing to be aware of is that when Apple first introduced subscriptions, they were a little unclear about what a "subscription" actually meant. After a bit of a discussion with them I ended up offering separate in-app purchases for each month of my app's content, rather than a subscription. I don't know enough about your app, but do have a thorough look at the developer forums to see what the current state of play is. It has probably evolved since the early days, anyway. – Martin Kochanski Jun 8 '16 at 14:52

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